It was an October morning on the patio of the San Diego Yacht Club.

Wood and classic glass lined the docks.

The conversation turned from omelets to Christmas — and in particular, the annual Christmas tree display at the Ronald Reagan Library.

Fast forward 7 weeks, a little research (thanks, Glenda & Shawn!), a club e-mail invite, and we’re braving the light breeze and balmy 80 degree temperature to spend a November Saturday out in Simi Valley, California.


We gazed at the props, sets, and models from the movie Titanic, and moved through the museum halls, following President Reagan’s life from childhood through the movies, political career, and retirement.


Next, it was on to view the Christmas trees. The Library describes this year’s exhibit as “…25 trees decorated to celebrate the defining moments of America’s road to greatness, from the Revolutionary Era to today. Each tree reflects the life and times of American society and culture during each decade between 1770 and 2010 and beyond…” How they captured events as varied as the Transcontinental Railroad, the Civil War, the Edison Standard Cylinder Phonograph, the Moon Landing (to cite a fraction of a percent of the details) and wrapped them up in mini history lessons was sheer artistry to behold.

We ended the day with a group dinner at a local restaurant, and agreed we should plan more purely social club events in the near future!


Incoming Chapter President Maggi Cassell looking, well, Presidential


While Air Force One sits high over the camera person’s left shoulder, Southern California veterans know that Marine One is much better suited to deal with Los Angeles commute traffic!